Spring Cleaning Tasks For Pet Parents

Posted by Beke Lubeach on

Spring has finally sprung. It’s a time of renewal and to open the windows to air out your house and welcome in the warm weather. If you’re a pet owner you know you’ve been breathing in cat and dog fur and dander.

We know when you have dogs and cats you want to keep your house clean, even though it may be a losing battle as all pet lovers know!  

When you’re a pet parent, spring cleaning may seem even more daunting – dust bunnies the size of puppies under the fridge, anyone? Start now. Tackle one room at a time and you’ll be starting summer with a clean slate and a clean house!

Spring Cleaning Tasks For Pet Parents

  1. Get pet hair off furniture. Even if you vacuum the furniture regularly, you should do a deep cleaning to get rid of all the pet hair – or as much as you can! Remove furniture slipcovers, brush or vacuum up as much pet hair as you can using a lint brush or a grooming glove.
  2. Move furniture. Sweep and vacuum under couches, beds, the refrigerator and other dark corners of your house to remove as much hair as possible.
  3. Deep clean carpets. If you live in an area of the country with snow and ice and winter that eventually turns into dirt and mud you will want to deep clean the carpets. Cleaning carpets removes ground in dirt and rock salt and unwanted pet smells. Choose carpet and other household cleaning items that won’t harm the environment and more importantly won’t harm your pets or other family members.
  4. Deep clean litter boxes. Even better – replace the litter boxes. Make a note to replace the litter boxes several times a year. Even if you clean them regularly, when your cat scratches, she is digging into the plastic and that leads to bacteria and odors being trapped in those gouges she’s made.
  5. Thoroughly clean pet bowls and toys. Many pet parents clean their dog and cat’s food and water bowls at least weekly, but if you don’t make sure to take the time during spring cleaning to thoroughly wash and dry all bowls. Clean the food mat or tray the bowls sit on. Check for washing instructions on toys and bowls and put them in the dishwasher or washing machine to deep clean them – use pet friendly soaps.

If your dog or cat has been scratching the doors or window sills or even scratching up the furniture, add “repair doors, window sills and furniture” to your spring cleaning list. Repair the scratched areas, paint or refinish them then protect it with a Door Shield or with our new Furniture Shields.

Once you’re done with your spring cleaning, you can kick back and enjoy the spring and summer weather ahead surrounded by your dogs and cats in a clean house!

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  

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Why Do Cats Scratch?

Posted by Beke Lubeach on

If you live with cats you know they have one thing in common. They love to scratch. Cats will scratch their pet parents, the couch, window sills, carpets, the walls, the doors and more. Why do cats scratch even when you try to train them not to? It’s instinctual behavior.

As a cat owner, you need to provide your cat with acceptable items upon which to give into their instinctual behaviors. If you don’t want your cat to scratch the arm of the couch, provide him another alternative -- put a scratching post by the couch. When he starts to scratch the couch, calmly get up and move his paws and claws to the scratching post. Many cats can be trained, through positive reinforcement, to scratch acceptable items and not destroy your home!

Why Do Cats Scratch? 

To get into the mind of your cat, you need to know, “why do cats scratch”?

  • It feels good
  • To rid themselves of dead layers on their claws
  • To stretch
  • To say they’re happy
  • It helps fight off stress
  • If they’re frustrated
  • To mark their territory. When they scratch they are leaving their scent behind so other cats in the house know, “this is my scratching area”

From a scientific standpoint, cats scratch as a way to “mark their territory.” When they scratch, they are leaving both a visual marker as well as an olfactory marker. Cats have glands between the pads of their paws and when they scratch they leave an odor behind to let other cats in the house “know” that that piece of furniture or door or window sill has been claimed.

As you can see, there are many reasons cats scratch furniture and you can see it’s important for you to provide them an outlet for scratching that won’t destroy your furniture or your house.

Here are ways to keep your cat happy and your home protected:

  1. Place a scratching post by the item the cat is scratching and encourage her to scratch the post not the furniture
  2. Try various types of scratching posts until you find one your cat likes. Some enjoy scratching on sisal rope, others like carpet, still others enjoy scratching on cardboard scratch pads or a piece of natural wood or a log. If your cat doesn’t like the first option you offer, try another.
  3. Praise him when he scratches the scratching post. Positive reinforcement is key.
  4. Use CLAWGUARD Protection Tape to protect furniture, window sills, door frames, carpets and more. CLAWGUARD Protection Tape easily conforms to the legs of couches, your window sills, door frames and more.
  5. Check out the newly released CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield, an item that proves, “you can have nice furniture and still have pets!” CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield is a nearly invisible protective Marine-grade piece of vinyl that affixes to any piece of furniture to protect it from the claws of your cat or dog. This product is easy to install, reposition or remove as needed and comes with clear head nickel-plated steel upholstery twist pins to hold the CLAWGUARD Furniture Shield in place.

Some cats simply won’t stop scratching specific items and if that is how your cat behaves, it’s best to protect the items he won’t stop damaging. Anywhere that your cat scratches you can place the furniture shield.

What have you done that has helped stop your cat from scratching the furniture? Please share with us your tricks and tips!

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more.  

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Traits Of A Good Pet Parent

Posted by Beke Lubeach on

Whether you share your life with a cat, a dog, multiple cats and dogs or a mixture of both do you know the traits of a good pet parent? This isn’t a trick question by any means.

Caring for dogs and/or cats is a big responsibility and if you’re a new pet parent you may wonder what the traits of a good pet parent are. We have rounded up a few for your consideration.

You are responsible. Caring for a pet means putting his or her needs before your own. No more weekends away at the spur of the moment, unless you have a responsible, reliable family member or pet sitter lined up. You look forward to getting home after work because you know your pet will be there to snuggle with you.

You become a saver. When you have a pet you know you have to save for veterinary visits and emergency health issues that may arise. You learn to set aside money regularly to assure your pet will receive the care he needs.

You learn to share your space. In other words, you’re no longer selfish when it comes to sleeping in the entire bed yourself. You are happy with a sliver of the bed as long as your cat or dog is comfortable you will sleep in an uncomfortable position so you don’t disturb them. Do they need to be constantly on your lap? You’re all right with that, too.

You find yourself talking about them all the time. If you’re an empty nester, you may find your phone is full of pet photos. Even if you have young children, you will likely be showing people pictures of your children and your pets together. They are a package deal, after all!

Your pet always has the best – the best food, clothing, bedding – you name it. You’re willing to eat ramen as long as Fluffy and Fido are well taken care of. Just as you’d make certain your human children had their needs met first, you’re also doing the same with your furry children.

You may learn to cook. If your pet has a health issue and requires a unique diet, you may find yourself in the kitchen trying out recipes for her meals. You may also enjoy being in the kitchen baking your pets healthy, organic ingredients rather than relying on store bought treats.

You learn patience. Sharing your life with a dog or cat means you need to be patient. You will have to have patience to housetrain your puppy. You will need patience when you’re trying to sleep and your cat is attacking your toes. You will have to understand, if you adopt a shelter dog or cat, they may need more love and attention because they are afraid -- this means more hugs, pats and accepting kisses from them.  

You will definitely want to avoid these pet parent mistakes:

  1. Getting a dog or cat without truly putting thought into the responsibility and that it is a relationship for a life time.
  2. Not training your puppy or kitten
  3. Being inconsistent with training. If your dog isn’t allowed to chew shoes on Monday, he shouldn’t be allowed to do that on a Tuesday, either. If your cat shouldn’t scratch the couch on a Wednesday, you shouldn’t allow him to do it on a Thursday. You get where we are going here, right?
  4. Giving too many treats. This can lead to obesity.
  5. Not giving your dog or cat regular exercise
  6. Not introducing your puppy or kitten to other humans and other dogs or cats. Socialization is necessary for your pet.
  7. Not making your home pet-friendly. Just as you would “baby proof” for a toddler, so too do you need to puppy- or kitten-proof the house. This could mean putting up CLAWGUARD door shields so your puppy or dog doesn’t destroy the door frame. It could mean using CLAWGUARD furniture shield to protect your furniture from your cats’ claws. Remember, scratching is instinctual behavior for all cats – it’s up to the pet parent to give the cat a place to do what comes naturally!

Being a pet parent is a responsibility that will pay back rewards in puppy kisses and kitten snuggles and you will have a life long companion as your puppy and kitten grow old!

Can you remember life before you became a pet parent? Once you have begun sharing your life with a cat or dog you simply cannot imagine not having them there to greet you when you come home. Now that you’ve been a pet parent you may find you’ve developed some of these unique traits.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more. CLAWGUARD products relieve pet owner anxiety.

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Tips For Cat First Aid

Posted by Beke Lubeach on

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month. Whether you live with cats, dogs, ferrets or other furry, finned or scaly pets, knowing basic first aid or being able to recognize the signs that your pet is in distress is important for all pet parents.

Would you know if your cat is in distress? If your cat were injured would you know how to help? Do you have a cat first aid kit on hand to assist your cat if an accident should befall her? Remember, at home first aid doesn’t replace a trip to your veterinarian, but you are your pet’s first line of defense.

Tips For Cat First Aid

Pay attention to your cat’s body language. Cats are masters of disguise and you may not even notice that your cat is ill or injured. It’s not that your cat doesn’t trust you, but acting like “everything is all right” is an instinctual behavior. Here are signs to pay attention to:

  1. Shallow breathing
  2. Not coming when you call (not that cats always respond to commands, but you will likely notice whether your cat is hiding out of fear or pain or is just, well, being a cat.
  3. His ears are flat, twitching or being held backward. The ears are a sign of fear, pain or fright.
  4. Is her tail twitching? Is her hair standing on end? She could be scared. Is his tail tucked between his legs? This is a sign of anxiety. Is his tail thrashing back and forth? That’s a sign of agitation – the faster the thrashing the angrier the cat.
  5. Are the pupils in her eyes fully dilated? This indicates fear.

Look for these signs when you’re concerned that your cat may be injured or ill.

Be calm. When you’re calm, and we know it’s hard to be calm when your cat is in distress, that calm will translate to your cat. Slow your breathing and approach low and slow. It will be difficult, if not impossible, to administer first aid or to gather up your cat to go to the vet’s if she’s sensing your unease.

Immobilize your cat. If you can “scruff” the cat it will immobilize her; this is a throwback to when the mother cat used to discipline or care for the cat when she was a kitten. When you scruff the cat you can get a better look at the wound or injury.

Once you’ve picked up your cat, wrap him in a blanket – this will protect him from further injury and will protect you from being scratched.

Get to the vet. Once you’ve gathered up your cat and have made an initial determination of his injury or illness, call your veterinarian and tell him/her what’s going on. Your vet will likely give you advice on what to do until you can get your cat into the office for an examination.

What should go into your cat first aid kit?  

  • Emergency veterinarian phone numbers and numbers of friends and family who may be able to assist
  • Bandages
  • A blanket for wrapping up your pet
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Cotton balls and gauze
  • A pet carrier
  • Cold packs and heat packs
  • Water and a water bowl – to drink and to clean a wound
  • Wound cleaner

These are items to have, at a minimum, in your cat first aid kit. If it’s easier, keep the first aid kit right in the cat carrier it will make it easier if everything is in one place in case of emergency.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more. CLAWGUARD products relieve pet owner anxiety.

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Dog And Cat First Aid Tips

Posted by Beke Lubeach on

As pet parents, we should have a basic understanding of dog and cat first aid tips. Just as we’d know how to staunch a wound if our child fell down and hurt himself, so too should we know how to protect our dogs and cats until we can get them to the veterinarian.

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month and because of that we wanted to share some basic, and practical, first aid tips for pet parents.

Prepare a pet first aid kit

Having a pet first aid kit is one of the most basic items that every pet parent should have. If you have numerous pets in the household you may need to have more than one first aid kit. Here are some of the items to have in the pet first aid kit.

  1. Bandages
  2. Safety scissors. Look for the scissors that have a safety tip to prevent any accidents while you’re cutting around your dog or cat.
  3. Sterile saline eye wash. This is necessary if your dog gets dirt or dust or other foreign objects in his eye.
  4. Water. Have a bottle of water in the first aid kit, just as you would in your pet emergency safety kit. The water is good for rehydrating and for washing out a wound.
  5. Your pet’s medication. Styptic powder or pencil, used to stop bleeding on small cuts.
  6. Dish soap. This can be used to wash any toxins from your pet’s fur.
  7. A thermometer. If your pet is acting ill, your veterinarian may ask what your pet’s temperature is.
  8. Your emergency contact information. If you and your pets are out of the house and you get injured and cannot speak, this contact information can be a literal lifesaver. Have the information for a family member, your veterinarian and any other pertinent information on the contact card.
  9. Emergency restraint items. If your pet is injured, he will be scared and could be flailing around and potentially cause himself more harm. If possible, swaddle your dog or cat in a blanket to keep them calm and still.

It’s wise to have a pet first aid kit in your home as well as in your vehicle. When you’re taking a road trip with your pet you may want to add additional items to keep your pet comfortable during the road trip, but the pet first aid kit is something you should never leave home without.

Ask your veterinarian where you could learn pet CPR and for any other first line of defense pet first aid you should be aware of until you can get an injured pet in for medical care.

CLAWGUARD builds shields that help protect homes from damage caused by dogs and cats. Products include door shields, couch guards, and universal protective tape that protects commonly scratched areas like window sills, furniture, banisters, weatherstripping and more. CLAWGUARD products relieve pet owner anxiety.

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